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Fishermen call for improved security in the lake

Fishermen in Lake Victoria have urged the government to utilize the budget allocation for the blue economy and fisheries to improve security in Lake Victoria.

The fishermen, led by Homa Bay County Beach Management Network Chairman Edward Oremo, said the Sh. 118 billion for the sector should be prudently utilized to spur economic growth in the county.

Oremo said fishermen were concerned that the insecurity led to the loss of fishing gear and fish that they get in the lake. He urged the government to utilize funds allocated for fisheries to address insecurity in Lake Victoria.

“Fishermen in Lake Victoria are affected by insecurity. We end up losing our fishing gear in the hands of robbers,” Oremo said, adding that the government needs to subsidize the cost of fishing gear to make them more affordable.

“We appeal to the government to subsidize the fishing gear to enable more fishermen to afford them,” Oremo said.

Homa Bay, which has the longest shoreline of Lake Victoria in the Kenyan side, is a leading producer of fish. It is expected that proper funding for aquaculture development programmes will boost fish production in the county. This will ultimately improve food security.

Suba South Beach Management Unit chairman William Onditi said the funds should also be used for completing the construction of a fish market that was promised by President William Ruto.

During his tour of the county in January this year, President William Ruto promised to build a fish market worth Sh400 million on the shores of Lake Victoria in Homa Bay town. The market was expected to have a cold storage facility for preserving fish.

Onditi urged the government to construct the facility in the financial year that begins next month.

“We appeal to the government to construct the market using this coming financial year’s budget that was read in the National Assembly by Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u,” Onditi said.

By Davis Langat

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